Eagles, Round 2. Vanderbilt: Jerry Rice’s cousin. Before the draft, I rated Matthews as my number-5 overall WR, and expected him to go in Round 2. Ends up drafted as the sixth WR, but about where I thought he’d go. He fills a need on the Eagles now that Desean Jackson’s gone. He won’t replace Jackson’s speed (few can) but he has good separation skills and speed for his size, along with mostly good hands. Paired with Maclin and Cooper, the offense shouldn’t really skip a beat.
All-Star Games: Senior Bowl.
Positives: Very good height, with above-average bulk and great hand size. Good speed for his size and position. Accelerates well off the line and gets off press coverage cleanly. Long wingspan and a good catch radius. Good hands – can extend very well low and away. Adjusts well to off-target passes. Fair concentration in traffic. Good concentration on contested passes. Tracks passes over inside shoulder very well. Above-average routes and gets good separation on most routes. Runs with above-average balance. Above-average upper-body strength, and is strong after the catch – breaks a lot of arm tackles. Good sense of where the sideline is and can get both feet down without looking at the line. Seems to be a student of the game and a hard worker – reportedly studied game film of the cornerbacks he was going to face in the Senior Bowl and also put in a lot of after-practice work at Senior Bowl. Good upper body strength. Adequate vertical leap, general lower body explosiveness, lateral quickness, and ability to change directions in Combine testing.
Negatives: Below-average downfield blocker. Some lapses in concentration on easy passes, with some unexplained drops.
Projection: There are a lot of weapons on the team, but the offense is going to find enough targets to go around. Expect WR2 numbers fairly immediately, with eventual WR1 potential. I’d draft solidly in the middle of the first round of dynasty rookie drafts.